Benjamin Crispin Lippincott (1827-1912)

Benjamin C. Lippincott, 1858

Benjamin Lippincott was born the elder son of Crispin Lippincott and his first wife, Mary Ann Wilkins Lippincott, in Haddonfield, New Jersey on July 22, 1827. He prepared for college at the nearby Methodist-affiliated Pennington School. In 1855, he entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania along with his half-brother Joshua Allan Lippincott. Benjamin was elected as a member of the Belles Lettres Society and graduated with his class in 1858. He then studied to become a Methodist clergyman.

Soon after graduation, Lippincott served as the principal of the Cumberland Institute in nearby Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He then moved to the West, where in 1860 he became head of the growing Puget Sound Wesleyan Institute in Olympia, Washington. Founded by local Methodists, the school was well-supported and was on the verge of being funded as a university when the Civil War halted proceedings. The territorial legislature instead elected Lippincott the superintendent of public schools for the entire territory. His later career is largely undocumented by available records. It is known that Lippincott returned to New Jersey by the end of his life. He also served on the Dickinson College board of trustees, once again along with his brother, for more than a decade beginning in 1891.

Lippincott married Mary Cain of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and the couple had three sons - George, Frederick, and Benjamin Crispin - before his wife died. He married a second time to Deborah H. Divirty and fathered three more children - Jesse, Elizabeth, and Joshua. Benjamin Crispin Lippincott died on January 20, 1912 and was buried in Camden, New Jersey. He was eighty-four years old.

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Dickinson College Archives
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